As a method of formal guiding principles to insure the integrity of the Federal Student Aid program and ethical conduct of employees regarding student loan practices, Madison Area Technical College has adopted this Student Loan Code of Conduct as an official document for the institution.
The Student Loan Code of Conduct encompasses all employees who work in the Student Financial Support Services Department, and all other employees of the college, including internal and external agents of the university who serve in capacities related to educational loan, or other forms of Federal Student Aid programs. Adhering to the primary requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, this Student Loan Code of Conduct was created.
Contents within this Student Loan Code of Conduct assist to provide additional standards of conduct for employees who have responsibility for student financial aid and do not, by any means, replace any existing or future requirements imposed by the State of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Technical College System, or Madison Area Technical College related to codes and conduct, conflict of interest policies, ethical training, or other such requirements.
The Student Loan Code of Conduct also confirms that Madison Area Technical College does not have preferred lender arrangements, of any kind, or a preferred lender list. The contents below assist in the establishment of Madison Area Technical College’s stance regarding code of conduct:
- Revenue Sharing: Madison Area Technical College and its employees will not enter into any type of revenue sharing arrangement with any lender, guarantor, or loan servicer to protect the integrity of the federal loan program.
- Gifts: All employees within Student Financial Support Services are prohibited from soliciting or accepting any gift from a lender, guarantor, or loan servicer of education loans. Gifts are defined as being gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan or other items. Student Financial Support Services employees will also not accept or receive gifts of services, transportation, lodging, or meals; whether provided in kind, by purchase of a ticket, payment in advance, or reimbursement after the expense has incurred. Any gift to staff or family members of Madison Area Technical College are prohibited if the gift is given with the knowledge and consent of the employee and there is specific reason to believe that the said gift was based on the official position of that employee of the college.
- Contracting Arrangements: Employees of Student Financial Support Services shall not accept, at any time, from any lender or affiliate of any lender, any fee, payment, or other financial benefit – this includes the opportunity to purchase stock – as compensation for any consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to a lender, or on the behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
- Preferred Lender Status: As a participant of the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, Madison Area Technical College, provides student and parent loans through the U.S. Department of Education. Private education loan lenders will not be given a preferred status. Madison Area Technical College does not have any preferred lender arrangements that give any lender an advantage in securing business from our students, nor does the institution provide students with a preferred lender list from which students should select a lender for private student loans – students will always have the option to borrow from an institution of his or her choice. All loans are processed without regard to lender or mode of transmission processes (electronic or paper). The institution will not recommend a private loan lender nor accept any material benefits including revenue or profit sharing to the institution, an officer, or an employee of the institution or an agent.
- Private Loan Certification: Upon the intent/decision for students to seek private student loans, Madison Area Technical College will not assign a borrower’s private student loan to a particular lender. A borrower, utilizing free will, has the authority for all decisions made in his or her independent review of borrower benefits and lender services. The institution will not refuse to certify or delay certification of any loan based on the borrower’s selection of a specific lender or guaranty agency.
- Borrower Opportunities: Madison Area Technical College’s Student Financial Support Services prohibits offers of funds for private loans to students in exchange for providing concessions or promises to the lender for a specific number of Federal Student Loans, a specified loan volume, or a preferred lender arrangement. This is in compliance of Section 140 of the Truth in Lending Act.
- Staffing Assistance: Madison Area Technical College will not request or accept from any lender, guarantor, or servicer of student loans any assistance (consulting arrangements or contract to provide services to or behalf of a lender relating to education loans). Services include call center staffing or financial aid office staffing.
- Advisory Board Compensation: In the event of employees of Student Financial Support Services, who serve on an advisory board, commission, or group established by a lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors; those individuals are prohibited from receiving anything of value from the lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors, except that the employee may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in serving such advisory board, commission or group.
- Educational Training: Lenders, guarantors, and loan servicers may provide college financial literacy outreach activities to Madison Area Technical College students but are prohibited from conducting in-person, school-required entrance and exit counseling.